Every Generation Lost Wealth Last Year—Except One

Millennials defied the odds, and their own reputation
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2023 5:05 PM CDT
Every Generation Lost Wealth Last Year—Except One
   (Getty / Dragon Claws)

An annual assessment of individuals' wealth by Swiss banking giant UBS found that the US got hit harder than any other nation last year. The Global Wealth Report says the total net worth of Americans dropped by nearly $6 trillion in 2022, with 1.8 million Americans losing their status as millionaires, reports Fortune. In fact, every generational group in the US saw their collective net worth decline in 2022, except one—millennials, notes the Messenger. The average person born after 1980 but before 1997 saw their net worth rise nearly 7%, compared to drops for Generation X (1.3%); Boomers (1.6%); and the Silent Generation, or those born before 1946 (14.5%).

The millennials' secret? Real estate, essentially, and more specifically rising home prices. Compared to the other generations, millennials have more of their net worth linked to their houses (37%) instead of, say, the stock market, whose benchmark S&P 500 index fell about 20% last year, per CNN. Helping here is that 70% of younger millennials and 46% of older millennials were first-time homebuyers last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. Millennials roughly range in age from 27 to 42 today.

One member of this age cohort who just happens to be a financial adviser says the stats further debunk the myth that millennials are broke and/or bad with money. "There's solid evidence that millennials aren't actually as far behind as previous generations," Kevin Mahoney tells the Messenger. "There's been a narrative going on 10 to 15 years now about millennials not putting sufficient effort into their finances or complaining too much about their finances, and I don't know if reality has ever backed it up." (More millennials stories.)

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